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Space Science

Tatooine-like Planet Discovered 403

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the mos-eisley-not-included dept.
ATP writes "CNN is reporting that a planet has been discovered in a solar system with 3 suns. The observation brings into doubt the theory stating that planets form from the dust orbiting around a single sun. The discovery also resulted in a new method of searching for extrasolar planets-- until now most searching focused only on single-sun systems."
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Tatooine-like Planet Discovered

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  • This is not the planet you're looking for.

    This is not the planet we're looking for.

    Move along.

    Move along.

    • * If there's a bright side to the universe, it is the planet its farthest from.

      * You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

      * The womp rats are about 2 meters in length.

      * The sand is coarse and rough and irritating, and gets everywhere.

      • * You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

        Personally, I think it's a shame that people have to slander everyone from Tatooine just because they've gotten a bad impression from the people in Mos Eisley.

  • by FrontalLobe (897758) on Friday July 15, 2005 @12:37AM (#13070053)
    Don't let George Lucas see this. He'll want to change the next release of episode 4 and have Luke looking over 3 suns setting.

    "Really, I had always wanted it to be 3 suns, and now we have the technology to produce my original vision"
  • by isd_glory (787646) * on Friday July 15, 2005 @12:38AM (#13070060)
    Come on... even google knows how many suns there are.
    http://www.google.com/search?q=tatooine+suns [google.com]
  • by gringer (252588) on Friday July 15, 2005 @12:42AM (#13070080)
    I guess the galaxy isn't so far away after all
  • by Owndapan (789196) on Friday July 15, 2005 @12:42AM (#13070085)
    As noted by The Register [theregister.co.uk], the planet is not in a galaxy far, far away, but a mere 149 light-year jaunt through our own Milky Way.
  • Pitch Black (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mesach (191869) on Friday July 15, 2005 @12:43AM (#13070091)
    Might it be more like the planet in Pitch Black instead of Tattoine?
    • I thought that too. But I don't think that planet had a name. It was just planet #2 of the M-344/G system. (Yes, I'm a nerd)

      But in any case, I think by "Tatooine like" he means any planet with 2 or more suns, so Tatooine is just fine. Even tho the first example actually found has three.

      • Hell ya! Pitch Black has got to be the most under rated SciFi movie of all time. I'm a huge cult follower of it myself. I wonder if there will be another Chronicle of Riddick, but with the character development of Pitch Black.
    • It's neither! This new planet is a gas giant larger than Jupiter... hardly a rocky desert planet by any stretch.

      Daniel

    • Sinister of the artist to draw in a hypothetical moon. We all know how dangerous solar eclipses can be.
  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Friday July 15, 2005 @12:43AM (#13070095) Homepage Journal
    Imagine if such a planet were habitable (that is, a planet with three suns). Think about how much of our human existence is dictated by the cycles of our single sun. I wonder how different things would be with three suns.

    Would agriculture ever start? Would dwellings all be subterranean? Would concepts of work and play be utterly different? Religions would evolve differently. Would gender roles be affected?

    Does anyone know of a work of science fiction that delves into this, in the way that The Left Hand of Darkness [wikipedia.org] explored gender issues?

    • Yes (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Friday July 15, 2005 @12:52AM (#13070134) Homepage
      It's called nightfall [amazon.com] and it's by Isaac Asimov. It's not one of his better works-- it has some neat ideas in it, but it was originally a short story that was later extended to novel length and as a result it feels rather stretched. Perhaps the original short story is better, I don't know (I've only read the novel).
      • Re:Yes (Score:4, Interesting)

        by arimeq (900007) on Friday July 15, 2005 @03:30AM (#13070737)
        Short story is lot better. I read both short and novel version. Short version tells the story of final few hours before the Nightfall, while the novel begins earlier and ends after Nightfall. I definitely prefer original, short version - it keeps the tension.
      • The original story is short, to the point, and doesn't drag. I can't imagine it stretched to book length...that would be some serious stretching.
    • by bc90021 (43730) * <bc90021@bc9002[ ]et ['1.n' in gap]> on Friday July 15, 2005 @12:56AM (#13070155) Homepage
      Actually, for as much of our culture that's dictated by the sun, a *lot* of it is dictated by the moon. Our calender is based first on the moon (months, a word that may have derived from moonths?), women's cycles are typically ~28 days (the length of the lunar cycle), tides are more heavily influenced by the moon than the sun, and a number of other things I can't think of right now. I'm not denying the sun's influence by any means - obviously, without it's warmth and light there'd be just about nothing on this planet. But don't understimate the moon, which is as important, if not moreso.

      • There was a TV show awhile back called "If We Had No Moon" narrated by Patrick Stewart that covered this. Very interesting.
      • Actually, for as much of our culture that's dictated by the sun, a *lot* of it is dictated by the moon.

        Excellent points, of course. This all makes me think of an exercise that my Physical Anthropology prof in college used to run each year. He'd invite anthropologists, artists, psychologists, writers, paleontologists, historians, engineers, of all stripes together for the creation of a mock species.

        The group would start out with a skull, created by one or two of the participants. Then everyone would ex

      • which makes me glad we only have one moon. I can barely deal with each woman in my life having one cycle a month.
      • > , which is as important, if not moreso.

        I was with you up to this line...
        Come on, womens period and and lenghts of months alright, but do you REALLY think thats more important as day/night cycle? Would the concept of "sleep" have evolved?, ect,ect
    • Imagine if such a planet were habitable (that is, a planet with three suns). Think about how much of our human existence is dictated by the cycles of our single sun. I wonder how different things would be with three suns.

      Yeah, imagine if the three suns lined up every thousand years. A Gelfling might have to find the shard and heal the Dark Crystal.

    • What time would college students roll out of bed? When Sun #1 rose? Sun #2?

      Many questions to ask about this multiple sun stuff. ;)
    • There is always Nightfall. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightfall_(Asimov) [wikipedia.org]

      It is a great short story that inspired two terrible movies and a somewhat good book.

      Cheers,

      Adolfo
    • I wonder how different things would be with three suns.

      Appearances aside, not much.

      If the planet's environment is life-friendly, then it's only a matter of time before life evolves on it. Lifeforms will then thrive on the resources until a resource limit is met and competition (i.e. "survival of the fitest") kicks in.

      Because of the survival benifits that cooperation and intelligence have, some lifeforms will take an evolutionary path towards that... more complex behaviors will likely evolve, eventually
      • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Friday July 15, 2005 @01:43AM (#13070376) Homepage Journal
        Appearances aside, not much.

        You seem to be making the argument that essentially a habitable planet is a habitable planet is a habitable planet. Don't you think, though, that if Earth had three suns, life might have evolved in a vastly different fashion?

        I don't know the answer, but it does seem to me that many of the assumptions we take for granted about organic life and its development might not apply on a world with three suns. For example, on a "desert planet" like Tatooine, there may be no aquatic mammals. Assuming current speculation about the evolution of mammals on Earth is true, perhaps on a desert planet large-brained creatures might not ever evolve.

        My ignorance in matters of biology outstrips my knowledge of the subject by a wide margin, so I am just poking around curiously to see what others think.

    • I don't know about 3 suns but 2010 ends when Jupiter turns into Lucifer, a second sun, and talks a little about how this affects life on Earth.
      I can't remember if the subject comes up again in 2061 though, since a big part of that story takes place in space (again)...
    • The SF novel Alastor: Marune by Jack Vance describes effect of the color of the planet's four suns (red, green, blue and orange) on the behavior of the inhabitants. Each phase caused by a different combination of the colors has a name (I don't remember which) with specific effects.

      Absolutely recommended, like all his other works.
    • Imagine if such a planet were habitable (that is, a planet with three suns). Think about how much of our human existence is dictated by the cycles of our single sun. I wonder how different things would be with three suns.

      While it undoubtedly has effects, whether or not our particular solar cycle is key to our particular existence is hard to say. Consider life did/does exist and evolve closer to the poles, as well, where days and nights last months (half the year, at the extreme), so a daily light/dark
    • You gather a collection of signs saying "Please do not drink the emperor"
  • by ribo-bailey (724061) on Friday July 15, 2005 @12:51AM (#13070127) Homepage
    THE SPICE!!!???
  • not like Tatooine... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Honor (695145) on Friday July 15, 2005 @12:56AM (#13070153)
    From the article:

    The planet, a gas giant slightly larger than Jupiter, orbits the main star of a triple-star system known as HD 188753 in the constellation Cygnus.

    Unless I missed something major when watching the movies, Tatooine isn't a gas giant...
  • Tatooine? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vanyel (28049) * on Friday July 15, 2005 @01:04AM (#13070196) Journal
    To me, Tatooine-like would be "that earthish desert planet", not "that gas giant with 3 suns"...
  • No (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jcorno (889560)
    The observation brings into doubt the theory stating that planets form from the dust orbiting around a single sun.

    No, it doesn't. That's assuming the star system is as old as the planet. There's no way they can see how the four move relative to each other, so they're just guessing. The two most likely scenarios I can think of are that a star with a planet drifted into a binary system, or three stars and failed star (gas giant) managed--by chance--to drift together without crashing into each other. W
    • Re:No (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Listen Up (107011)
      It's funny when an intellectual post gets posted on Slashdot, like your post above, and it gets a score of 1. But, when someone mentions something stupid about Star Wars they get a score of 4 or 5.

      Then all of the non-intellectual/non-educated/non-critical thinking/non-analytical/etc. people start jumping on this poorly worded article about how all science is just guessing and doubt, blah blah blah, we don't know anything about our universe, blah blah blah, religion/fantasy/make-believe/folklore/etc. is an
  • by rampant mac (561036) on Friday July 15, 2005 @01:10AM (#13070231)
    Like Tatooine?

    No love for Pitch Black [imdb.com]?

    Besides, Vin Diesel can kick Chewbacca's ass. He can do anything [4q.cc].

  • False Advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aykroyd (82171) on Friday July 15, 2005 @01:28AM (#13070317)
    "Tatooine-like Planet Discovered," I read. Eagerly, I clicked the link. "They've found a way to tell just what the planet is like! Now that is news!"

    Oh, but wait... It's actually a story about a planet that was discovered in a solar system with three stars. What in the hell does that have to do with making the planet "Tatooine-like"? That's like calling every other planet in our system "Earth-like".

    *sigh*
  • This planet is like Tatooine like Jupiter is like Earth. It has the same number of suns in the star system but that's about it.
  • Isn't it possible that the planet got knocked away from its original star and got grabbed by the new one? Now if more such planets are found then its time to look at other theories but one doesn't mean much.
  • ....that's a Death Star in orbit.
  • by dtfinch (661405) *
    If Tatooine was as big as Jupiter and orbited 3 suns. You must be thinking of the gas giant that causes the eclipse in Pitch Black.
  • ...a solar system with... three suns!
  • Drake equation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rhinobird (151521) on Friday July 15, 2005 @02:56AM (#13070623) Homepage
    Seems like the more stars we look at, the more planets we fine. Maybe we can start to make educated guesses as to what at least one of the values in the Drake equation is, instead of the wild ass, pull a number out of my butt, guesses we had been using.
  • It's pretty much like Tatooine, except that it's a gas giant around three stars instead of two. Still, I must admit -- it got me to click the link. I was expecting spaceships and stories of magic and heroism.
  • ... but only in a certain village in tunisia [itunisie.com].
  • by dibbe (864666) on Friday July 15, 2005 @03:45AM (#13070801)
    More details here: http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/news/7_13_images.h tml [nasa.gov]. Nice animations too.
  • If there is gas around a single star, then there is gas around three stars...anyone knows why existing theories are in doubt because of this?
    • Think about the gravitational field shapes required to get stellar dust to coalesce into planets.

      With 3 bodies, you have no guarantee that there'll ever be a stable node in the field, let alone that enough matter will land there to bunch together.

      Pretty neat fluke if it did, mind. :)
  • Rogue planets (Score:2, Insightful)

    by term8or (576787)
    observation brings into doubt the theory stating that planets form from the dust orbiting around a single sun.

    The observation doesn't necessarily call into question this theory - there has long been a theory that rogue planets (i.e. planets that have either been knocked from their own solar system or where their star has exploded) can be taken into the gravity of star(s) that it wasn't formed around.

    What does call the theory into question is the paucity of information on extra solar planetary formati
  • When scientists were asked about the significance of finding a planet with three suns they said, "The future is so bright that we gotta wear shades..."
  • Fictional? (Score:3, Funny)

    by AliasTheRoot (171859) on Friday July 15, 2005 @07:56AM (#13071557)
    Tatooine doesnt exist, does this?

    I'm just waiting for the first DS9 like wormhole to the delta quadrant to be discovered. Hell I'd settle for the most nasal starship captain that doesn't have a clue.
  • The planet, a gas giant slightly larger than Jupiter...


    Why do we have to sensationalize everything? It'd be a good science story if they just prsented the facts. Is this CNN or the freaking E chanel?


    Morans.

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